Learning from Photography with Tae Yun Kim

Vishwas Godbole can certainly be described as a family man. Vishwas Godbole created NavinMail, the innovative international voice messaging system that provides a low-cost connection between families in India and the United States, in order to remain connected to his mother. A 79-year-old woman living in Mumbai at the time of Vishwas Godbole’s invention, his mother refused to communicate with Vishwas Godbole via phone due to high international calling rates. This inspired Vishwas Godbole to create NavinMail and form Navin Communications, an internationally successful corporation of which he was Founder, President, and CEO. Vishwas Godbole’s level of dedication to communicating with his family is impressively high.

Family ties were the focus of Vishwas Godbole’s idea for NavinMail. Vishwas Godbole views family as the primary connection between an individual and his or her culture. Vishwas Godbole is from the Indian state of Maharashtra, which has a rich Marathi culture and language. Vishwas Godbole remains connected to that culture not only through his self-created advancement in international communications, but also through multiple organizations that he is involved with. Vishwas Godbole is a part of the Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal programs for Marathi speaking Indians in the United States, and he has produced two of their biannual, national conventions, which are widely attended by Marathi people from across the United States and Canada. Furthermore, Vishwas Godbole also remains connected to his culture through annual donations to Balaji Temple, Pratham USA, and the San José sister city program with Pune, a city in Maharashtra, India.

As a South Asian man in the business world, Vishwas Godbole often feels out of place and separate from his culture. However, the organization TiE allowed him to connect with other South Asians involved in similar businesses in Silicon Valley. TiE currently has 11,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 60 chapters across 17 countries. TiE fosters entrepreneurship in individuals from the Indus region through global networking, mentoring, and education.

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